The secret nature of seeds: science & seed improvement c.1520-1700

Scott, Elizabeth (2016) The secret nature of seeds: science & seed improvement c.1520-1700. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The seed is an extraordinary time capsule that can travel across socially constructed and humanly defined borders and boundaries. While certain characteristics of the seed have been captured in botanical, agricultural, economic and garden history, what the seed also carries is a social history. The human relationship with the seed is complex, with the seed itself invested with different social and cultural meaning over time, place and periods in history. For the purposes of this research, a history of the seed is constructed in the early modern period in England, using as its narrative, the development of scientific knowledge. To understand how knowledge was accumulated and transmitted, the research argues that the ‘social’ everyday lives of men and women were formative in the creation of a scientific ‘culture’, that permeated this period in history. The thesis argues that the outcome of the scientific endeavours described in the treatises written by horticulturalists and husbandmen, led ultimately, to the social construction by the Puritan improvers, of a ‘model’ seed and the advent of the nurseryman.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 14:37
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 14:37

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